“There were some scenes when I had to talk to patients about their physical condition directly to them. That time, I got so choked up that I couldn’t say any lines, couldn’t look the patient in the eye. I was just playing a role, but I couldn’t help thinking, ‘What if I was the patient in that situation?’ That moment I realised a little bit of how real doctors feel.” Jo Jung Suk (main actor of a K-drama, ‘Hospital Playlist’)
'Hospital Playlist' is a K-drama about people going through days that seem really ordinary but are actually very special. The story mainly resolves around five doctors (Ik Joon, Suk Hyung, Jung Won, Joon Wan, and Song Hwa) who are friends of 20 years. They started their journey in 1999 in the same medical school . Now they are colleagues in the same hospital.
Most of the parts of this series were shot in a hospital, a place known as the microcosm of life -- where some people are being born and some meet their end.
'Hospital Playlist' has different kinds of names all around the world, but most of the viewers were wondering, what the English title meant. What’s a playlist has to do with a medical drama? But then, after about an hour watching the drama, we got the “ohh” moment that made the title make sense. Because this drama also deals with a story of re-starting a band formed by the five friends.
There are new songs in every episode. There’s a lot of sentimentalities as they perform songs they enjoyed in their youth. While the songs are great on its own, the band is especially meaningful as the friends carve out time to spend with each other in their busy schedules. The production team chose songs that not only reflect the atmosphere of the drama and fit the actors but also reflect the plot of each episode. The band session scenes affirm how regular bonding moments with your friends are necessary and also possible, no matter how busy you are.
Medical dramas always have been such a hit in Korea. They are currently ruling the roost. But never before they have been infused with music like ‘Hospital Playlist’.
The five friends showcased in the K-drama, are becoming favorites among all the characters seen in an OTT show. The show is gaining popularity not just for its storyline but also for the accuracy it has maintained in drawing attention to the medical field, with which the doctors can relate.
Hitting all the rules of a healing story convincingly demonstrates stories that fascinate without yielding negative elements, is deemed remarkable. After all, it is really hard to capture the narrative’s emotions without relying on a conflict.
It’s amazing how this series laid its foundation without having to worry about the problems to be resolved. It just happily created storytelling that inspires and heartens. Since the whole setting is a hospital, there were frequent life-or-death situations. However, the show did a great job of balancing heavy moments with light comedy. Humour comes from different characters, circumstances, and interactions. Additionally, viewers get to know the main characters and their lives with each episode.
This drama follows the everyday lives of ordinary people, telling those small but warm stories. The funny, interesting, and sad moments of life are all part of the story. Overall, it’s a charming image of a doctor's professional and everyday life, as they’re connected through the most dramatic moments.
Rather than focusing on only the dramatic stories that come out of a hospital, this drama focuses on the day-to-day happenings inside of one hospital. Instead of being a large-scale, grandiose drama, it makes people take away that it’s a story about lives that aren’t so different from our own. People can sympathise with the characters, get mad with them, laugh with them, just like in our own everyday lives.
Korean dramas taking the medical genre are often characterised by corruption-related conflicts or weepy patient stories. No need to worry about it since the 'Hospital Playlist' series is different from the rest. In this drama, the medical emergencies are not over the top and there’s no unnecessary panic in the hospital. The storylines of patients don't extend for too long, and the characters have lives outside of the hospital.
From the get-go, the audience can feel the friendship through the amazing memories shared by the five friends. They all are always there for each other, whether a friend experiences a cancer scare, goes through a divorce, or has a sick family member. Each of them has a different method of showing that they care.
The smart storytelling of the drama reverberates the sound awareness of its creative team to bring a real story about a relationship shared by the friendship bond. They can practically read each other’s minds and know each other like the back of their hands. In their 40’s life begins for each of them. With the career as doctors, the lives of people living, dying, and just passing by the hospital were narrated in their different perspectives.
We could not ask for more of what the diligent cast showcased in the whole drama. It supports the beautiful bond they shared as reflected in their eating, drinking, and music sessions. It is a treasure of inspiring messages. Though this drama is focused on adults in the 40s, the young generation can also learn a lot from it.
‘Hospital Playlist’ setting a personal rating record with 14.1 percent, aired its final episode on May 28. This drama can make you crave the comfort of lifetime friends you’ve been missing. It is worth every bit of the time you have and something you can share with your friends and loved ones.
Rumaiysa M Rahman is a 9th grader at Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, Dhaka.